Orange & Purple – They Belong Together Like Cookies & Milk

One of my favorite color combinations is orange and purple. I secretly dream (well, not-so-secretly, because I’ve talked about it a lot on Twitter) of finding a bearded iris with orange standards and purple falls. Don’t think it exists yet, but Kelly Norris assures me that people are working on it.

Anyway, I digress. I’m not sure where my affection for those two colors comes from. Like most kinds of love, it’s seems to be random. Why do people love chocolate or kittens? Since I love these colors so much, and this is the time of year that people are looking for some ideas for their container gardens, I thought I would suggest some really ravishing examples of orange and purple looking awesome together.

Dutch Iris & Butterfly Flower

Dutch iris (Iris x hollandica) is the flower most people think of when they think of irises. It’s easily found at florists and garden centers alike. In the Spring, you’ll even find it available for sale as a plant, in addition to rhizomes. Butterfly flower, as the name suggests, is a butterfly magnet. It’s a bushy 18 inch plant with bright orange flowers that is easily grown from seed. The contrast between the size and shape of both plants’ flowers and leaves will make a pleasing combo.

Dahlia & Nemophila ‘Penny Black’

Nemophila is a new-to-me plant. Elayne of Annie’s Annuals introduced me to the plant. From what I can tell, it is a low growing plant that forms waves of lush green foliage dotted with deep eggplant colored flowers dipped in white. I was thinking that it would look really pretty with one of the shorter varieties of dahlias (the one pictured is an orange ‘Bishop’s Children.’).

Hyacinth Bean & Zinnia

Hyacinth bean is a climbing vine with purple stems, flowers, and beans (though don’t eat them unless you’re prepared to boil them to death to remove the cyanotoxins). Train a couple seedlings to grow up a pyramid trellis and plant shorter variety of orange zinnias at their base to hide their bare legs. Delish!

What is your favorite flower color combination?

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